No matter how you slice it or spice it, spam on a community site like FohBoh leaves a bad taste in our member's mouths. We get email all week long from users who are finding it in the most unlikely of places; direct messages from their contacts, discussion forums, blog posts, and so on. We act quickly to remove the content and inform its creator of the proper posting etiquette. But, like any inexplicably tasty treat that's ultimately bad for your health, spam creeps back onto FohBoh's plate, clogging up the arteries of our community, corroding the heart and health of our network. To quote FohBoh's senior spam detector, Michael L. Atkinson, "nothing kills a community like spam." So what is spam and why all the fuss? According to Wikipedia, "spam is the abuse of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately." Put another way, spam is the unwanted, unsought, and unwelcomed promotion and advertisement of a service or product. FohBoh has very clear guidelines concerning self-promotion. We've even created a video to further break it down for the community.
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There are many different flavors and recipes for spam, though, and since I spend all day tasting and sampling them, allow me to be your guide. We'll focus on three, for now. Canned Spam These posts are the easiest to identify. Written with almost any audience in mind, these messages are meant for mass distribution. They have almost no relevance to our community, and always link off site to a website that's extremely promotional. A brief check of the spammer's profile often reveals that they've entered false information about themselves, and have absolutely no activity on site other than their posting of spam. Deep-fried Spam A little harder to spot, mainly because it looks so harmless at first glance and smells like a blog post. Usually something related to the foodservice industry, sometimes cloaked as an article, but filled with hyperlinks to other websites. Often a direct ad for some service or product, this type of spam is the most harmful to our community. It's a slow death, but a steady diet of this stuff will eventually lead to community-wide arterial sclerosis, also known as a community without a pulse. FohBohlogne The most excusable of all spam, these are the posts that contain directs links to our member's businesses, language that is self-promotional, or industry-related press releases. We feel that these are easy to edit into content more fitting for our community, and we are happy to suggest ways to do so. If you've ever received a message from our Community Manager asking you to edit your blog post so that it's less promotional and more informative, you know to what we're referring. FohBoh is a growing community, and with nearly 14,000 members, we can't catch everything, so please lend us a hand if you see something that seems spammish. Here at FohBoh, the Community Managers 'virtual' door is always open.' With a few minor ingredient changes, and a little creativity, you can turn a spammy post into something that we'll all want to consume. You just need to know how to feed the community. There are a lot of great content creators on FohBoh who are writing thoughtful posts and commentary that attracts other members back to their profile. Find one whose stuff you like and ask for a few pointers. You'll be cookin' in no time. See you on FohBoh! Michael Biesemeyer Community Manager FohBoh click for a link to the image above